MSc Actuarial Science and Management

The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


This exciting 2-year MSc programme is designed to kick-start your career as an actuary, preparing you to take a leading role in managing risk in financial institutions worldwide.

Entry to the actuarial profession is by a demanding series of examinations, but the rewards after qualifying are great. Students that enrol onto this programme will follow the syllabus of MSc Actuarial Science in their first year and the MSc Actuarial Management programme in their second.

Taking our MSc in Actuarial Science and Management is a great way to speed your progress to this most prestigious of careers - it's designed to take you almost all of the way to qualification. 

September 2022 entry

The deadline for applications from Scottish and RUK students is 31 August 2022. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by the 8 August 2022.


This programme is accredited by the IFOA

The first year content is equivalent to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ Core Modelling, Core Statistics and Core Business professional examinations (subjects CM1, CM2, CS1, CS2, CB1, CB2), and could enable you to gain exemptions from all of them. The second year can lead to exemptions from all of subjects CP1, CP2 and CP3, and three of Subjects SP2, SP4, SP5, SP6 and SP9.

Heriot-Watt University is recognised as a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), North America. We are the only Center of Actuarial Excellence in Europe and one of only 30 other schools worldwide with this designation. With roots dating back to 1889, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the world's largest actuarial professional organization with more than 28,000 actuaries as members.

Reputation for excellence

Established in 1972, we were the first UK university to introduce a dedicated programme in Actuarial Science, and have since evolved to become highly renowned as a world-leading centre in actuarial and financial teaching and research.

Course content

Stage 1

Mandatory courses:

  • F71AB Financial Mathematics
  • F71AF Life Insurance Mathematics 1
  • F71BF Life Insurance Mathematics 2

Optional courses:

  • C21A0 Economics
  • C31FF Finance and Financial Reporting
  • F71SM Statistical Methods
  • F71SZ Stochastic Modelling
  • F71AG Risk Theory
  • F71TS Time Series Analysis
  • F71AH Financial Economics 1
  • F71AJ Financial Economics 2
  • F71AE Survival Models

*progression to stage 2 requires an average mark of 60% over all examinations taken at the 1st attempt, with a grade C required in all mandatory courses.

Stage 2

Mandatory courses:

  • F71CA Actuarial Risk Management 1
  • F71CB Actuarial Risk Management 2
  • F71MD MSc Dissertation

Optional courses:

  • F71PC Pensions A
  • F71LA Life Insurance 1
  • C31FM Financial Markets
  • F71DV Derivative Markets and Pricing
  • F71ER Enterprise Risk Management 1
  • F71PD Pensions B
  • F71LB Life Insurance 2
  • C31FV Finance and Investment
  • F71AP Advanced Derivative Pricing
  • F71EM Enterprise Risk Management II

Entry requirements

The programme is primarily intended for graduates with a strong mathematical background. Our normal minimum entry requirement is the equivalent of a UK 2.1 degree in mathematics, statistics or a related discipline with a high mathematics or statistics content.

We are also looking for students who are keen to join the actuarial profession, have a willingness to work hard and a drive to succeed.

English language requirements

Important: If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5, we also accept TOEFL (scores of 79 and higher).

We also offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your master’s programme:

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK £18288 £9144 £2286
Overseas £18288 £9144 £2286


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
  3. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional fees information

Applicants should be advised that fees for the second year of the programme will be confirmed in January 2023.

Year 2 - Tuition fees
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK tbc tbc tbc
Overseas tbc tbc tbc

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.